Theological Studies




stories about growing up are vicious





(when my mother asked if i prayed, i answered yes, 

but to whom?

i don't know)





i don't believe in God

(i'm sorry)

for i've learned to be weary of girls who wear too many bracelets

and boys who breathe smoke





stories about growing up are vicious and fragile


because my friend was betrayed by everyone who was supposed to love her

and the first time i saw her cry, 

i felt my heart break


because when he texted me “i love you”

 i swore he meant goodbye


because when everyone else had moved on

i noticed the scars on her wrist


because his mother abandoned him

because her parents say she’ll fail

because he drinks to forget





(when i said i felt like a rock, constantly beaten by the sea and weathering away, he called it poetic)


i don’t want poetic


(i never loved sadness, but now i fear it)


so forgive me when i scrawl lines of poetry across my skin

because i am done drawing scars





i don't believe in God.

i believe in the universe. 


there is sancity 

in the tendrils of smoke that linger as the burst of fireworks fade into darkness, 

their thunder vibrating in your chest


in sticky summer skin,

those nights when the sheets cling to you as you lay sprawled across your bed,

a song running through your mind


in a firefly cupped in your hands as you watch it glow


in paint splattered across your skin


in the ember lights of the city skyline lit against the night


in the stars that spill their stories for you


in the song of the rain on your roof


in the empty pages of a notebook waiting to be filled

or in the scent of a new canvas


in freckles that form constellations

and scars that tell stories of what you have survived


(do not fear your reflection)


in the sinew and bone and blood that you are composed of,

blood through which runs the history of the whole of the world:










there is sanctity in the ordinary,

the beautiful:

messy handwriting

coffee stains

smeared paint

books crinkled with age

midnight drives when the whole world is silent and still and yours

the smell of grass

the glow of fireflies

the crunch of fallen leaves

and in the stars that will always be there


and then sometimes

stories about growing up may even be beautiful. 


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